The first step to maintaining the exterior cladding on a residential home is to determine the type of cladding that has been installed. Obtain maintenance /specification brochures from local hardware store , or download maintenance requirements of the web.
Following these maintenance requirements will ensure you get maximum durability of both cladding and the coating on the cladding.
One of the most effective ways to maintain cladding is to give the exterior of the home an annual washdown , especially if your dwelling is close the sea.
It is not recommended to use a waterblaster – use a soft brush and low pressure hose. Concentrate on areas of the home that do not get rain-washed such as the eaves. If there is a lot of moss and lichen requiring removal you may have to use a specific cleaning product that is approved by cladding manufacturer . Any plants or gardens up against home need to be cut away from cladding , ground levels also need to be lower than bottom of cladding to allow cladding to " breathe” , and to avoid rotting of any bottom layer of wood – based cladding.
While washing down home also check for the following : ( Especially Important with Monolithic cladding such as sheet fibre cement and plastered polystyrene)
- Damaged cladding
- Hole in cladding
- Stained Wall Surface
- Sealant Degradation at joins/ edges of windows
- Corroded flashings
- Cracked /Flaking Paint
- Paint Chalking
Any defects in cladding surface need to be repaired to cladding manufacturers recommendations to ensure dwelling maintains weathertightness . A priority is to replace any rotten/damaged boards or panels , and to repair any holes in cladding.
When checking surfaces such as painted weatherboards the south facing walls are more likely to suffer from moss/lichen issues and damp , whereas north facing walls take the brunt of UV rays and may show more degradation of painted surfaces than other areas of cladding. Any degraded areas will need re-painting to manufacturers recommendations.